Towards Harmonized Biobanking for Biomonitoring: A Comparison of Human Biomonitoring-Related and Clinical Biorepositories

Dominik Lermen*, Frederik Gwinner, Martina Bartel-Steinbach, Sabine C. Mueller, Jens K. Habermann, Matharoo Ball Balwir, Elke Smits, Ana Virgolino, Ulrike Fiddicke, Marika Berglund, Agneta Åkesson, Anna Bergstrom, Karin Leander, Milena Horvat, Janja Snoj Tratnik, Manuel Posada De La Paz, Argelia Castaño Calvo, Marta Esteban López, Hagen Von Briesen, Heiko ZimmermannMarike Kolossa-Gehring

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Human biomonitoring (HBM) depends on high-quality human samples to identify status and trends in exposure and ensure comparability of results. In this con, much effort has been put into the development of standardized processes and quality assurance for sampling and chemical analysis, while effects of sample storage and shipment on sample quality have been less thoroughly addressed. To characterize the currently applied storage and shipment procedures within the consortium of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU), which aims at harmonization of HBM in Europe, a requirement analysis based on data from an online survey was conducted. In addition, the online survey was addressed to professionals in clinical biobanking represented by members of the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB) to identify the current state-of-the-art in terms of sample storage and shipment. Results of this survey conducted in these two networks were compared to detect processes with potential for optimization and harmonization. In general, many similarities exist in sample storage and shipment procedures applied by ESBB members and HBM4EU partners and many requirements for ensuring sample quality are already met also by HBM4EU partners. Nevertheless, a need for improvement was identified for individual steps in sample storage, shipment, and related data management with potential impact on sample and data quality for HBM purposes. Based on these findings, recommendations for crucial first steps to further strengthen sample quality, and thus foster advancement in HBM on a pan-European level are given.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)122-135
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2020


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